We tend to ignore everyday aches and pains, especially as we grow older. We brush these off as ‘just stress’ or laugh them off as a sign of age. But sometimes what feels like a simple pain can be an early symptom of a serious problem. Your body is telling you ‘help!’ and the smartest thing to do is to have it checked by a doctor. Here are some aches and pains you should report.
Chest or shoulder pain
A pain in the chest, neck, shoulder, neck or the left arm can be an early sign of a heart attack. The pain is often described as a ‘pressure’ that builds up. So if you have a high risk for heart disease, or are older than 40, take this pain seriously.
If you feel a sharp, sudden and severe pain between the shoulder blades, call your doctor. This is sometimes a sign of blood trapped in the body’s main artery. While it can be arthritis, your doctor is the best person to tell you what to do—especially if you have heart disease or high blood pressure.
Don’t just call it a stomach ache, especially if the pain doesn’t go away. This can be a sign of appendicitis, or a symptom of pancreatic problems, gall bladder problems, or a developing ulcer.
Pain in the calf
If you feel a pain in the leg, check the area. Is it accompanied by redness? Does it feel hot when you touch it? This may be a sign of deep vein thrombosis or a possible blood clot. This problem is particular threatening for women who are pregnant or people who have just gone through an operation or a long plane trip—the limited mobility could have affected your circulation.
Persistent tingling in the feet or leg
Pay attention to any tingling sensations that are recurring, persistent, and accompanied by burning sensations. This may be a sign of nerve damage, which is associated with diabetes, vitamin deficiencies and inflammatory conditions.